Last night I shared the parable of the bicycle with our children. I read it first when I was an older teenager. I read Believing Christ by Stephen Robinson. He gave a speech about it in 1990. There was an article in the Ensign about it in 1992. It is one of the things that truly changed my life. Because I planted the seed it had. I invited it into my own heart and tried its goodness. More than any other seed in my life it has grown up to bear fruit in my life. I know with out any doubt it is true.
Sometimes in our lives we can think that we need to be as perfect as we can be, then the Lord will save us. It is possible to get caught up in the gospel of the checklist. That we go down the check list and say am I reading my scriptures daily, am I have FHE every week, Do I date my wife every week? Am I doing my home teaching? Etc etc etc. We can go on and on and on.
That is why I love the parable of the bicycle and the other principles that is taught by Stephen Robinson and others that teach the power of the Atonement of Christ. He saves us before we even hear the word. He saves us as we first hear the word. He saves us as we decide to bring that precious seed into our heart. He saves us as we nourish it with great care. He saves us as we continue in persistence in caring for the tree. He saves us when we have great joy in the fruit.
He also saves us as we get up off the ground when we fall. Even if it is the upteen, thousand, millionth time. He saves us when we are discouraged with "How many more times will thou forgive me for this sin?" Or when we think "I am never going to get it all right", I can't be a perfect Latter-day saint. We only have to surrender our heart to Him. We have to trust that He can do what He says He can do. That he can make us Celestial material. The humble in heart know that they will never be Celestial on their own. Our own measly 61 cents will never carry us all the way. Yet my 61 cents means a lot to me. It means that I am fully committed to my covenant relationship with Him.
One of my sons asked me yesterday as we were re-planting the irises in our new flower bed, "Dad, I've been thinking lately. When do you and mom ever find time to have fun?" I answered, "This is fun to me. I love to plant things and see them grow." As I grew up I know that I thought of that as I thought of my parents. We always seemed to be doing one project or another. There was always work, work and more work. As I think back on if though. They are my best memories. I remember building the shed with my dad. I remember when it was so hot in the summer when my mom and us were doing the paper route that my mom got sick. We had to pull over to the side of the road and she opened the door and she had to vomit in the road. Did she stop? No. We kept at it. because we were helping keep my brother out on his mission.
Is our work hard, yes. The Lord required all from us. He gave nothing less. When I think of the price Jesus pays for me I am so grateful. I want to get up and keep going. Just thankfully do my part. My measly 61 cent part. The part that I have put my back and heart and soul into. The part I hope to continue to work to freely give as my offering to the Lord. But what happens if I only earn 60 cents. Or my I make a bad investment or lose it because of my foolishness? The Lord knows our hearts. He knows what we really want. What we have put our efforts into. He is Just and He is Merciful. All will be worked out. We just need to keep getting up and humble asking for forgiveness.
If we lose sight of the saving grace of the Lord we can too easily give up. We must be careful to retain the hope that we once held. We must not let imperfection we find in the church from keeping us from honoring the covenants we made with God. He is able to make us holy.
See also parable of the piano